Company that ferments mushroom mycelia to produce nutritional ingredients gets more funding

MycoTechnology Inc., a Colorado-based company producing food ingredients by fermenting mushroom mycelia, announced it has received new funding from investors of $85 million, taking its current funding to $200 million since the company launched in 2013.

MycoTechnology Inc., a Colorado-based company producing food ingredients by fermenting mushroom mycelia, announced it has received new funding from investors of $85 million, taking its current funding to $200 million since the company launched in 2013.

The company calls itself “the world’s leading explorer of mushroom mycelia.” Mycelia is the underground, root stage of a mushroom during its life cycle, even before the fruiting body of a mushroom appears above ground. It is the longest-living part of the mushroom that extends vastly underground. Mycelium contain digestive enzymes that enable them to adapt to the ecosystem they are in. MycoTechnology is using a fermentation process and mycelium to produce improved ingredients for food.

As the company explains on its website, “At MycoTechnology, we harness the power of mushroom mycelia using a process called ‘liquid culture’ or ‘submerged fermentation.’ Instead of allowing mycelium to ferment (or digest) solid material, as they might break down a decomposing tree in the wild, we instead ‘train’ our mushrooms to digest a liquid substrate. We simply teach our mycelia to thrive on a liquid diet.”

As the mycelium grows, it produces health-promoting compounds. The company is using a proprietary fermentation process to “harness the natural power of mycelia and create transformative food ingredients” that improve upon taste, texture, nutrition, and bioavailability. Already, the company has introduced several ingredients to the market produced in this way, including its FermentIQ plant-protein line and its ClearIQ range of clean-label flavor modifiers enabling sugar and salt reduction.

The firm adds that, thanks to the process, “This versatility allows us to experiment with different feedstocks and growing processes utilizing various mushroom strains to produce a vast array of novel compounds and processing tools. Mixing and matching different combinations of mushrooms, substrates, and conditions, mycelium has become our platform for infinite discovery and innovation.”

The company says is now focusing on expanding in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In a press release, the company’s CEO and cofounder Alan Hahn said, “This investment will power the imagination of our incredible team, driving our plans to add more new-to-the-world ingredients from the fungal kingdom. We have big things coming.”